Spotsylvania: 157 Years Ago
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
On May 8-21, 1864, intense fighting raged around Spotsylvania Court House. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia had won the race to the crossroads community situated south of Fredericksburg and started digging into defensive positions. Places like Laurel Hill, Brock Road, the Mule Shoe Salient, Bloody Angle, Heth's Salient, Fredericksburg Road, Myer's Hill, and Harris Farm saw intense fighting as Union offensives tried (and sometimes successfully) broke the Confederate lines or move further east and south.
Today, we're sharing a new E-book, some history videos, and a look back at preservation efforts. We appreciate your interest and support of battlefield preservation in Central Virginia.
Digging Into The Past (New E-book)
In 2004 a team of archaeologists from James Madison University made an exciting discovery: the location of the Spindle House at Spotsylvania Battlefield. Why is this discovery of a civilian site relevant to military history? The Spindle House was a landmark during the early days of the fighting. A site that both sides used and targeted during the Battle of Laurel Hill. Understanding the precise location of civilian structures can help better interpret military reports and writings. While Spindle Field and the house site is preserved by the National Park Service, Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT) has preserved land along Brock Road where General Warren rallied his troops for attacks into the fields and two tracts along the Po River (the direction where Mrs. Spindle escaped).
John Sedgwick Remembered
On May 9, 1864, Union General John Sedgwick was trying to encourage his men to not fear the Confederate sharpshooters picking at their position on the second day of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. “They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance,” he reportedly proclaimed just moments before a sharpshooter bullet felled him from his horse. After Sedgwick’s death, the command of the VI Corps passed to General Horatio Wright. This video (originally produced for the At Ease Program) features excerpts from a speech that George McClellan gave at West Point in 1864, shortly after General John Sedgwick's death at Spotsylvania Court House.
Around the Court House
This video, also originally created for the At Ease Program, features historic images from the Spotsylvania Court House community paired with poetry written by a Confederate cavalryman for his local comrades from the local area.
Preserving Spotsylvania Battlefield
Central Virginia Battlefields Trust's first save at Spotsylvania Court House battlefield was at Po River in 2001, a "forgotten" area on the Union's right flank where the II Corps maneuvered and fought on May 9-10, 1864. Tracts at Harris Farm, Brock Road, and Myer's Hill have also been saved, totaling 132 acres. Learn more...
Central Virginia Battlefields Trust's mission is to preserve, protect, and educate about Civil War hallowed ground at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House.